Leonard D. White Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

Political Scientist

Leonard D. White

Birthday :

January 17, 1891

Died On :

February 23, 1958

Also Known For :

Journalist, Historian

Birth Place :

Acton, Massachusetts, United states of America

Zodiac Sign :


Childhood and Early Years

American historian and political scientist Leonard D. White was born on the 17 January 1891 in Massachusetts. He was the son of Bertha Dupee and John White and had one sibling, Richard Peregrine (b.1896-d.1993).



Leonard D. White obtained a BA from Dartmouth College (1914) as well as an MA (1915). In 1921, he was awarded a doctorate from the Universiy of Chicago. His thesis was The Origin of Utility Commissions in Massachusetts which was published in the Journal of Political Economy in March 1921.


Academic Career

Leonard D. White was a member of staff at the University of Chicago (1920-1958) and was the chairman of the Political Science Department (1940-1948). At the University of Chicago, he was appointed the Ernest DeWitt Burton Distinguished Service Professor of Public Administration and held the post until his death in 1958.  His primary field of interest was public administration, and he was one of the first to lecture on the subject at the university level.

At Chicago University, White served as a member of the Trustee-Senate Committee on Academic Reorganization (1943-1945), a member of the University Council and Spokesman of the Committee of the Council (1945-1946) and a member of the Senate Advisory Committee to the Board of Trustee which selected a new chancellor (1950-1951).


Public Administration Advisor

Committees Leonard D. White served on include the Chicago Civil Service Commission (1931-1933) the United States Civil Service Commission and the Central Statistics Board (1934-1937). President Roosevelt appointed White to the Committee on Civil Service Improvement (1939-1941). White also worked with both Hoover Commissions on the Organisation of the Executive Branch of the Government (1948-1949 and 1953-1955).       



Leonard D. White was a co-founder and editor of the US Public Administration Review (1940-1941). His publications include Conditions of Municipal Employment in Chicago: A Study in Morale (1925), Introduction to the Study of Public Administration (1926), The Frontiers of Public Administration (1936), Defense and War Administration (1939-1942), The Federalists: A Study of Administrative History 1789-1801 (1948)

Other publications are The Jeffersonians: A Study in Administrative History 1801-1829 (1951), The Jacksonians: A Study in Administrative History 1829-1861 (1954) and The Republican Era, 1869–1901 (1958). The Republican Era (1958) won the 1959 Pulitzer Prize for History and was awarded posthumously to White.



Since 1959, the Leonard D. White prize is awarded annually for the best dissertation in the field of public administration. The inaugural winner was Dean E. Mann of the University of California, Berkeley for his thesis: The Administration of Water Resources in the State of Arizona.

Awards and Achievements

Leonard D. White was awarded a Guggenheim Fellow Scholarship for Social Services (1927-1928), a 1948 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Book Award for The Federalists: A Study in Administrative History (1948) and was posthumously awarded the 1959 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Republican Era: 1869-1901.

Personal Life

Leonard D. White was married to Una Holden White (b.1890-d.1982).  Leonard D. White died on February 23, 1958, in Chicago, Illinois when he was 66 years of age.

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